After the unfortunate and uptight attitude shown to Gary McCord by the Masters for his comments regarding the fairway undulations, how difficult was it for you to keep your wickedly sarcastic sense of humor in check while being part of the announcing crew this year? It seems you had to check your nads at the gate. —Bill Busch
Let’s clear up the “check your nads at the gate” thing first: My entire package, including my nads and my unit, never leave the house. She who must be obeyed stands guard at the back door, ziplock freezer bag in hand whenever I head for the airport. Only after I deposit the jewels in the bag may I leave the house. She puts the bag in the freezer and I get everything back upon my return. My normal voice is much deeper than you hear on TV; I go up an octave when I’m on the road. The good news is I rarely have to shave when I’m away and I don’t seem to mind joining McCord antiquing or shopping for new dust ruffles and throw pillows. Occasionally we go to the pool and shave each other’s back.
And I never discuss the Masters. Ever.
I was rooting for Phil until recently when I heard that his nickname on tour is FIGJAM. Any truth to this? Or is this just a case of a minority of also-rans just bellyaching? —Patrick
Well most of the time he’ll tell you and not bother to invite you to ask, so I’m not sure FIGJAM fits, but for everything I love about Mickelson, he’s not perfect. Let’s face it, when you’ve won as much and as often as he has, it’s hard not to order some bigger hats.
Two other factors: 1.) Jealousy and 2.) Misinterpretation. It’s natural for some of the boys to resent his success. Phil knows that and I don’t think he ever knowingly or purposely throws it in anyone’s face. And sometimes people, especially those with an ax to grind, might hear a perfectly innocent remark and interpret it in a way that suits their already formed opinion. If you ever have a chance to meet Phil, I’m pretty sure you’ll come away with a positive opinion. Continue to root for him unabated.
Do you think Tiger would withdraw from the Masters if his dad died during the tournament? —Chris Garbord
Absolutely, you morbid idiot.
I find myself going to the last page of the magazine (your article) as soon as GOLF arrives. This has become, and continues to be, either an obsession or superstition. With my handicap, you would think I would read the instructional articles first. What can I do to remedy my actions? —Mike Giel, Lawrenceville, GA
Why can’t it be both? Most obsessions start out as superstitions to begin with, but that doesn’t make them mutually exclusive. Having said that, failing to heed superstitions usually results in some dire consequence. For instance, I know for a fact that if I don’t have exactly three tees, two Irish penny coins in my pocket and shift my right testicle one inch to the left before I hit a drive, it’s going dead left. By the way, that last statement will have every bit as much effect on the outcome of your swing as all the instruction articles ever written. So look, pal, if you want to waste your time searching for the answer to your golf problems by reading those idiots, be my guest. But I’m afraid I have to insist you continue to read my article first. Only then can you possibly be in the right frame of mind to tackle an instruction article that will have you bent into a pretzel in no time.
Better yet, start buying my books, you pantload.
I was always a big fan of David Duval. Do you think he will ever be back on top? Or at least near the top with the best players in the world. —Jamie Waynesburg, PA
Every now and then David will post a low number and we will all get excited. It’s like a guy who’s been in a coma suddenly sitting up and reciting the Gettysburg Address, only to suddenly splash back down and not move for another year. Its soul-destroying to watch. Maybe we could arrange a sÃ©ance and channel the old David back. I wonder if Copperfield would do it.